On the eve of this years Michigan, Ohio State game I had to write about the legendary coach Bo Schembechler. When I was 11 years old, back on Jan 1st 1983, my Dad and Uncle took me to the Rose Bowl to watch Michigan face UCLA. It was the first time I had ever seen them play. I can remember so much about the game still, 24 years later. I remember seeing the team drive up to the stadium, on the team bus. I was cheering my little heart out. Waving at the team as they drove by. I can remember seeing Bo sitting at the front of the bus opposite the driver. It was the first time I can remember seeing a famous person. We then made our way into the stadium to our seats. I was so excited. I was almost jumping out of my skin. Then the Wolverines took the field lead by Bo. The Michigan marching Ban played "The Victors". ( The best fight song EVER!) I had tears in my eyes I was so excited. I felt as though I was in Heaven. The only thing that would have made it a better day is if Michigan had won. They ended up losing 24-14. I had gone from tears of joy to tears of disappointment. Even though they lost, it was a great day and an experience I will never forget.
The next day I wrote a letter to Bo, telling him that I was sorry about loss. When my Uncle heard I had sent Bo Schembechler a letter, he told me that Bo would be to busy to respond to a letter from me. At the time it made sense. So I kind of forgot all about it. That February my uncle passed away suddenly. By this time I had totally forgotten about the letter. But then I came home from school one day about a week after my uncle's funeral and there was a letter post marked from The Sports Information Department of The University of Michigan. When I opened it, there was a black and white photo of Bo. Signed " To Mark. Go Blue! Bo Schembechler" Now I have never really been lucky. But I assume I felt the way someone would feel once they found out they just won the lottery. I couldn't believe it. He actually took the time to do such a thing for some 11 year old kid who he would never meet. But what I have read about Bo, this is something not out of the ordinary. Now through the years I have had a few memorable moments. But this was definitely my first. I still have photo. In the same frame my Dad rushed out to get at Thrifties after he came home from work. I only wish it had come a few weeks earlier, so I could have shown my Uncle. Thanks Bo.